Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan speaks during a town hall event at the Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer hotel Thursday evening. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff )

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan speaks during a town hall event at the Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer hotel Thursday evening. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff )

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan hosts town hall

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is encouraging United Conservative Party members to participate in the April 9th leadership review of Premier Jason Kenney.

More than 70 people attended a town hall event hosted by Stephan at the Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer hotel Thursday evening.

During the event, some expressed concern over the need to pay a $100 fee – which becomes a $150 fee after March 19 – to participate in the upcoming leadership review. Stephan agreed with those concerns as well.

“I would like to see as many grassroots conservatives participate in this vote as possible,” he said, adding it’s also a concern that people from across the province need to travel to Red Deer-South to participate in the vote.

“To me, the more individuals that have that opportunity to participate, the better and truer the outcome will be.”

Also during the event, Stephan discussed health care in central Alberta. He said the upcoming $1.8-billion investment the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre will receive is “huge.”

“This will be a transformative, awesome investment that will bless, not only families and individuals in Red Deer, but throughout central Alberta,” he said.

Stephan said Alberta Health Services “needs to be better,” which received some applause from the crowd.

“We spend over 40 per cent of our government budget on health, and health is very important,” he said.

“We have … almost 4.5 million individuals in our province and our (intensive care unit) capacity resulted in a longer duration and deeper severity in some of the restrictions we’ve experienced over the past two years.”

After the town hall, Stephan told The Advocate said it was “awesome” to host the town hall.

“It’s great to see individuals, it’s great to meet in person – there’s something that’s lost when you don’t get to meet in person. It was a great turnout and I look forward to more of that,” he said, adding his biggest takeaway from Thursday night was that citizens are interested and engaged.

“The more interested and engaged citizens in our community are, the more accountable and better government is. That’s what we want: a government with a culture of excellence.”

Stephan touched on a variety of other topics during the town hall as well, including businesses leaving the city’s downtown, Red Deer’s overdose prevention site and Red Deer Polytechnic’s evolution as a degree-granting institution.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan speaks during a town hall event at the Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer hotel Thursday evening. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff )

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan speaks during a town hall event at the Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer hotel Thursday evening. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff )